Short bio

I am a senior Assistant Professor at the Section of Spatial Planning and Strategy of the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment (Bouwkunde) of the Delft University of Technology, TU Delft (The Netherlands).

My main efforts of research are into GOVERNANCE, SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY and SPATIAL JUSTICE as both FRAMEWORKS and TOOLS that enable planners and designers to elaborate strategies to achieve sustainable and fair urban development. Since the publication of the New Urban Agenda in Quito (2016), I have been working with UN-Habitat to integrate the New Urban Agenda into education.

Governance, social sustainability and spatial justice are frameworks for understanding and tools for acting.

I was born in São Paulo, Brazil. I completed my secondary studies in Montreal, Canada at the École Secondaire Jeanne Mance.
In 1995, I graduated in Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of São Paulo, with an analysis on how the real estate market shaped western São Paulo with the help of the public sector. This research was supervised by Professor Vera Pallamin. The text of the graduation thesis is HERE* (only available in Portuguese). The members of the jury were Professors Raquel Rolnik and Candido Malta.
In 1997, I enrolled in a Masters in Urban Development and Management at the Institut Français d’Urbanisme, then located in Marne-la-Valée, west of Paris. There I studied with the great Françoise Choay, Sylvie Jaglin, and Alain Bourdin. I could unfortunately not complete the course.
In 2003,  I obtained a scientific (research) Masters in Spatial Planning at the same university  with a thesis on urban management tools  in São Paulo (Cum Laude), supervised by Professor Sueli Schiffer. The thesis is available HERE* (only available in Portuguese).

In 2008, I completed my PhD at the Delft University of Technology, with a dissertation on the location preferences of Advanced Producer Services in complex city regions. My PhD dissertation focused on economic geography rather than planning, but it gave me the tools to understand planning practice and research. Through my professional practice and academic endeavours, I became a specialist in regional planning and governance.
Lately, issues of urban development in the Global South, informal urbanisation and spatial justice have become central to my research life.

Also in 2008, I became part of the Research into Practice: The Experiential Knowledge project at the University of Hertfordshire in the UK, under the guidance of Professor Michael Biggs and Daniela Büchler. The research cluster was funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council and allowed me to research and understand issues of academic research in areas of creative (design) practice, which allowed me to develop a Methodology course for Masters in Urbanism track of the TU Delft.

 I also teach courses at the European Master of Urbanism EMU, Amsterdam Metropolitan Solutions and courses on research methodology.

SPATIAL JUSTICE refers to the promotion of access to public goods, basic services, culture, economic opportunity and healthy environments through fair and inclusive spatial planning and management of urban and rural spaces and resources.

This is crucial in order to promote more equitable and socially sustainable societies and to promote the full realisation of human potentials.

Cities in the developing world are far from offering those conditions to most citizens. In order to achieve spatial justice, we must work towards sustainable governance, fair redistribution of resources and spatial benefits and opportunities. These things will be more easily achieved through democracy and participation.
Spatial planners have a special task as designers of new relationships between civil society, the public sector and the private sector in urban development and renewal in order to promote those conditions. See a presentation on this issue HERE. For a text on SPATIAL JUSTICE published on the ATLANTIS MAGAZINE, click HERE.

In order to understand aspects of Spatial Justice and the links between informal urbanisation and processes of democratisation, I am editing a book together with Jan Ballegooijen on the “Political Meaning of Informal Urbanisation“.

This is a crucial topic, because urbanisation processes in the Global South are accelerating dramatically. Most of this new urbanisation is happening informally, that is, outside planning frameworks and mostly outside the rule of law. Although informal urbanisation can be seen as the expression of the entrepreneurship of the poor and their will to be in the city, it is also the physical expression of social and economic exclusion and the failure of the rule of law in providing universal positive rights to all citizens. In other words, informal urbanisation is often the expression of exclusion of citizenship and the rule of law that protects citizens. We are investigating how informal urbanisation is connected to struggles for inclusion in the city and in structures of citizenship. Informal urbanisation has a political meaning and we are exploring it IN CONTEXT, working with authors from all over the world to give us their accounts. This book is peer-reviewed and will be published by Routledge. You can see details about the project HERE.

I was president of the Netherlands Association of Latin American and Caribbean Studies (NALACS) between 2014-2016 and I currently secretary to the board.
I was president of the Salzburg Congress on Urban Planning and Development (SCUPAD), one of the oldest planning associations in Europe, based in at the Salzburg Global Seminar in Austria, in 2016-2017.

Please, read my whole CV HERE.

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